The are jazzmen who blow

And others who bash

They do it for bucks

And they do it for cash.

They love the applause

And the moments of glory

But sometimes forget

The whole point of the story.

It’s the music that matters

And the good folk who strive

Without praise, without profit

To keep it alive.

So let’s drink a toast

‘May the god of jazz bless

My friend Mr Balmforth

And the old SJS’.

A poetic message
to Stafford Jazz Society

from the Society’s President

Band Leader and Jazz Broadcaster

Mel Hill

2015 in pictures

On 25 October we had another chance to see
and hear the Chicago Teddybears Society Jazz Band.  Despite roadworks on the road approaching the
White Eagle Club, nothing stopped the audience from pouring in for this
concert.   Not surprisingly they were the
winner of the Band of the year Trophy Award, and were presentd with their
awards by Jenni and Ian D’Arcy.

1st November gave us Baby Jools & The
Jazzaholics.   There was an exciting
programme of music with good pace.   Baby
Jools is a virtuoso drummer and a bright star in New Orleans style jazz in the
UK.   The fact that this was an evening
programme might account for a smaller than anticipated audience.  However those of us present enjoyed a super
night of jazz.

Brian Carrick’s Algiers Stompers played on
8 November.  This is a fine bunch of
musicians and Brian Carrick not only plays the sax but has a pretty good voice

The talented Matt Palmer was with us once
more on 15 November with his Aces of Rhythm.
This group specialised in reviving jazz from the 1920s and so brings
little known music to a modern audience.

22 November gave us Ron Hills’ Swing Kings with
Terry Roberts on reeds, Roger Heeley on keyboard, Roy Dutton on drums, Denis
Mowatt on double bass, Dave Leithead on trumpet and Ron Hills on trombone.  Just in case you were wondering, the little
white ghost centre stage is Roy Dutton!

Sadly I missed the JB Jazz & Blues Band
on 29 November,due to another commitment on the same day.  Groan!
They are such a good band and give a wonderful performance.  Which leads us into December.  On 6th we had the Phoenix Jazzmen with Sheila
Fawkes.  My word can that little lady
sing.  She has one of the best jazz
voices around.  See picture below.

The last band of the year, on 6 December,
was Bev Pegg & His Good Time Jazz Gang.
Again sadly I missed this so cannot report on it from my own personal
view.  However I understand that they
went down a storm.

My final picture of the year shows  Gill Dodds being presented with the SJS
Member of the Year Trophy.   Jill has
been coming to the jazz for a long time.
This year health problems meant that she had to miss quite a few
shows.   I am delighted to report she has
made a good recovery and was so surprised and delighted to be nominated for the
Award.   Seen hers presenting the trophy
is our Vice-Chairman and Membership Secretary, Shirley Ollier.

We will be back for the first gig on 10
January with Robin Mason’s Apex Jazz & Swing Band.  Looking forward to it already.

Cruising on the Rhine…

20 members of our Club spent a wonderful week in
Germany cruising on the Rhine and Moselle with the J&B Jazz and Blues Band.
Lovely autumn weather, magical scenery and an atmosphere that got everybody
dancing night after night made our week on the ship to a delightful experience.

Plans for a follow up next year were immediately

If you are interested please contact Veronica

Autumn Season at Stafford Jazz Society

There was a little confusion regarding the
first concert of the season, Chris Pearce’s Frenchmen Street Jazz Band, as we
thought it would be a lunchtime gig and it ended up as an evening concert due
to the darts.  We did try to spread the
word as far and wide as possible but the audience was perhaps not as full as it
might have been.  However that made no
difference to the sheer enjoyment of this group, who played their socks off.

Next came Matt Palmer’s Millennium Eagle
Jazz Band and it is always a pleasure to hear Matt, who is one of the UK’s
brightest jazz talents.   On 20 September
we heard Original Panama Jazz Band who had a good repertoire with numbers old
and new.  They played with gusto and
skill, along with the odd joke, and time simply flew past.   The last concert in September was Chris
Carmell’s Vintage Jazzmen with their 20’s style jazz.

The first band in October was the Savannah
Jazz Band (see picture below).   Along
with a good programme they kept up a steady stream of humorous comments and
reminiscences.  There was amazing mouth
organ playing by the reeds player, Bill Smith, which was absolute heaven.

On 11 October it was a delight 5to see
Carole Westwood, newly married, back on our stage.  She was accompanied by a trio of musicians
(John Evans on saxophone, Robert Armstrong on drums and John Evans on
keyboard).  There were several pieces
during the gig with a shoulder-twitching upbeat.  By golly could that John Evans play.


On 17 October we welcomed Kevin Grenfell’s
Jazz Giants.   This was good music with
everything from mood music to boogie woogie, all played with consummate
skill.   There were jokes a plenty from
Kevin.  What a programme.  As always the audience showed their
appreciation with a standing ovation.


I could not help putting the following picture
in.  On 17 October it was Heather’s
birthday.  Heather is a regular supporter
and here she lead the way in the umbrella parade at a gallop.

This year has gone well for Stafford Jazz Society.   The groups have been in tremendous form and
audiences are growing week by week.

January saw Apex Jazz & Swing Band, the JB Jazz &
Blues Band, George Huxley’s Hot Five and the Old Fashioned Love Band.  Tiggy’s kitchen branched out to include chips
in the goodies available to buy – what a treat when the weather is cold.

Martin showing off his wares

February saw the
reappearance of the ever popular Swingin’ Jim’s Dance Band.  Annie Hawkins Jazzmen is always a welcome
sight on the stage and Martin Bennett’s Swamplanders played with a vigour which
belied their age.  Matt Palmer’s
Millennium Eagle Jazz Band saw February draw to a close.

Everybody joins in the Brolly Parade (Ken Probert showing his
mobile brolly skills)

March brought us Steve King Big Band, Funky Butt Hall
N’Awlins Jazzband (don’t you just love the way you say N’Awlins … it is only
the uninitiated that call it New Orleans!), Eric “Busker’ Newton’s Willys
Weepers. Chris Pearce’s Frenchmen Street Jazz Band and The Phoenix Jazzmen.

Tables had been decorated with vases of daffodils in honour
of Mothering Sunday so the room looked unusually bright and cheerful.

Chris Carmell’s Vintage Jazz Band – an Easter Treat

Eric "Busker” Newton’s Willy’s Weepers

April brought Chris Carmell’s Vintage Jazz Band, and Mart
Rodger Manchester Jazz and Jeff Milner’s Delta Friends.   Again for Easter the tables held vases of
spring flowers and some had even brought along Easter bonnets for the brolly
parade.  The second evening concert of
the season was taken by New Orleans Heat on 26 May.

Easter bonnets at the ready

Milner’s Delta Friends

Committee members are always on duty – even during a brolly

Phoenix Jazzmen

Our Publicity Officer – Ian – making his own news with a
borrowed bonnet

New Orleans Heat

Tiggy – the real power behind the throne!